‘Fake News’ or ‘False News’ and the need of skills to deal with it

Adults have problems deciphering truth from falsehoods as information is twisted and changed to compete with different ideologies and competing voices. How much more do our students need to be skilled in discerning truth from fabricated or twisted information. This is where information literacy skills need to be embedded into all aspects of the curriculum and practice given under guidance. It is the role of the Teacher Librarian to assist in this.

Some good ideas for initial activities to make students aware of how easy it is to believe false news are given in this article in the NY Times: Evaluating Sources in a ‘Post-Truth’ World: Ideas for Teaching and Learning About Fake News by 

This New Yorker Cartoon by  says it all!

Google search – finding the best hits

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This linked infographic from Who Is Hosting This displays best search practice in order to get exactly you are looking for. A lot of students seem to fully rely on Google Search – learning how to search effectively would be very beneficial.

Learning frameworks and Guided Inquiry

Champlain Valley Union High School have sent this infographic via their Twitter feed. It visually illustrates the important role of Critical Thinking in learning.
Learning Framework

So many different learning frameworks and discussions are taking place but the more I look at them and compare them the more I realise just how encompassing the Guided Inquiry Design Process is – as it embeds all elements found in the others.

During Guided Inquiry students discover ‘content’ according to their interest in a topic area then go on to analyse and finally to share and evaluate their learning. This infographic illustrates this process very well.

In the Guided Inquiry Design Process, assessment occurs throughout the whole process – Assessment ‘for’ learning,’in learning’ and ‘of learning’. Students share in Inquiry circles at various stages and all learning is transparent and shared. The support of the teacher and teacher librarian make it a truly collaborative experience.

Evaluating the quality of online information

In her post on the Edutopia Blog, Julie Coiro, Associate Professor of Education at the University of Rhode Island, suggests ways to develop skills in adolescents dealing with online information.

“An essential part of online research is the ability to critically evaluate information. This includes the ability to read and evaluate its level of accuracy, reliability and bias.”

Four strategies are outlined to assist in developing these skills of discernment.
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Learning technology skills

21 Things 4 Students “was created as an educational and online resource to help students improve their technology proficiency as they prepare for success in the 21st century. This project was specifically developed to provide districts and classroom teachers with resources to help students meet or exceed the 8th grade technology proficiency requirements in Michigan.”

Students all over the world need these skills and this site allows progressive attainment through video explanations and ‘quests’ in 21 areas.

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S.E.X.Y. acronym for writing a report

Year 11 PDHPE is entering the final stages of their Guided Inquiry unit of work.
I have been team teaching with their teacher and we have used Edmodo to introduce, structure and support all their work. This in itself was a new experience for the teacher and we found it to be a perfect environment for Guided Inquiry in the Senior High.
I have come across S.E.X.Y. as a structure for writing before, but today the class teacher introduced it with reference and examples to the reports being written. It was outstanding as a support structure for these students writing reports on their health issues and programmes for improvement within groups in Australian society.
S= State your argument
E= Explain your point
X= eXample to demonstrate
Y= whY
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An Information Literate School Community

Did you know the Teacher Librarian can wear up to 500 hats? Barbara Braxton is working her way through a description of each and today’s ‘Hat’ is both informative and challenging. Read about The Information Literacy Hat on her blog 500 Hats.

Info LiteracyAn ILSC is one that “places a high priority (policy, benchmarking, funding and evaluation) on the pursuit of teacher and student mastery of the processes of being informed,” (Henri, 2005, p12). ..

…Students will need to be able to survive and thrive in an information-saturated and technology-rich environment, and be independent, creative thinkers, making informed decisions based on careful evaluation and interpretation of available information, developing expertise through experience, and be lifelong learners. They need to be information literate.

Google search tips

Students have a lot of difficulty composing search terms to find relevant information at the top of the list. So many students these days just type a question and expect a full answer.

This post on the Educators Technology blog explains many tips for searching. They have used the tips from Lifehacker.com to make a poster that I will certainly use for the Information Skills seminars for our students next week.
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Web Based Bloom’s Taxonomy

The use of Guided Inquiry or any Inquiry learning framework can be integrated with the use of web-based tools that extend creativity or assist in the organisation and documentation of the shared learning experience.

This post by Med Kharbach, the founder and author of Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, introduces web-based tools for each level of Blooms Taxonomy. These tools can be selected strategically to support learning in each step of Guided Inquiry.
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Year 3 share their Guided Inquiry experience with their parents

Last Friday afternoon two classes of excited Year 3 students came to the IRC with their parents to show them their work. After the teachers spoke of how the Guided Inquiry process had worked for them in practice, some of the students’ Vokis were demonstrated on the whiteboard. The parents then spent time with their child looking at their bookwork, their PowerPoints and their Vokis.

The students had used the Guided Inquiry process, with Teacher Librarian support, to investigate their personally selected aspect of the human body. Besides learning about the Human Body they also learned a lot of reading skills, writing skills, thinking skills and ICT skills.

Books were the main source of information as our IRC collection has so many good books suitable for this age group. The students read a lot about the human body before selecting their favourite aspect to study. Writing their own questions was a lot of fun and some fabulous ideas emerged!

The practical science experiments for this unit were also suggested and created by the students!

Finally after they had investigated and written answers to their questions, they made a PowerPoint to teach the other students about their work. Then, for fun, they made a Voki summary. This also incidentally taught them a lot about spelling and punctuation as they tried to make their computer generated avatars ‘speak’ their presentations.

Cardboard projects of the past cannot be compared to this exciting learning process!

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Google Drive Explained

This video by Martin Shervington very simply, yet comprehensively, explains everything we need to know about Google Drive.

What is Google Drive? A complete guide how to use it. The ease of collaboration makes this something we will look at for using for our Inquiry Circles.
Cloud (storage), Creation, Collaboration, Communication
How to access Google Drive, including from Google+